It’s time that we have a serious chat about your bed. And it’s not your untidiness that I’m worried about!
Our beds were once our personal sanctuary away from the worries of the world. They were the sacred place we went to re-energise our bodies and share intimate moments. But over the past few years, many activities that used to take place outside of the bedroom have slowly but surely crept in. All the while, more and more people have started to complain about being unable to get a good night’s sleep.
It’s time that we refresh our relationship with our beds by reviewing what we should and shouldn’t do in there. Here are 5 activities to keep out of your bed to get you started.
80% of young professionals are guilty of working from bed. While it may seem like a good idea to finish off that last-minute project or send off one more email, it’s setting your body up for trouble. Working in your bed teaches your mind that your bed is a place for work. This is okay when you’re actually doing the work, but there’s a good chance that your mind will still be buzzing when you actually want to go to sleep!
“It absolutely shoots an arrow through your personal productivity. By not getting restful sleep, by actually activating your energy levels in bed, you’re setting yourself up for a major problem the following day,” says Lauren Stack, a Denver-based productivity trainer.
2. Watching TV
Although having a big-screen TV in your bedroom seems like a cool idea, it certainly won’t help you sleep any better. An action-packed movie is likely to increase your heart rate, a gripping drama will have you hanging onto every little relationship twist and a comedy will have you in fits of laughter. Do any of these behaviours sound “relaxing” to you?
3. Reading from an iPad
If you’re a bedtime reader, your best bet is to read the old-school way - from a book. Avoid light-emitting devices such as iPads at all costs as research has shown that they affect the quality of your sleep.
"We know from previous work that light from screens in the evening alters sleepiness and alertness, and suppresses melatonin levels. This study shows comprehensive results of a direct comparison between reading with a light-emitting device and reading a printed book and the consequences on sleep," says Dr. Anne-Marie Chang, an associate neuroscientist in Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH)’s Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s junk food or healthy food, eating in your bed is never a good idea. Why? Dropping crumbs in between the sheets invites a whole host of unwelcome visitors such as flies and cockroaches.
According to Kadi Dulude, the owner of a New York City cleaning service, Wizard Of Homes, those who eat in their beds should clean their sheets 3 times per week. Most of us don’t have that much time to do our washing, so a much simpler solution is to leave eating in the kitchen and on the dining table!
5. Sleeping with pets
A study presented at last year’s annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies found that 63% of the respondents who shared a bed with a pet more than four nights a week reported poor sleep quality.
As loveable as pets are, it’s best if you keep them out of your bed. Not only do their meows, barks and rustles under the sheets open the door for broken sleep, but the dust and pollen that they bring in increases the likelihood for allergic reactions.